Standardization and the Effectiveness of Online Advertising
University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS)
May 1, 2014
The technological transformation and automation of digital content delivery has revolutionized the media industry. Increased reliance on automation has also led to requirements for standardization of content-delivery formats. This paper examines how the memorability of banner advertising changed with the introduction of new standards regularizing its format. Using data from randomized field tests, we find evidence that for most ads, ad effectiveness falls as the use of standard formats rises. The decline is smaller when a standardized ad appears to be more original (such as ads created by an ad agency). Therefore, a likely explanation is that increased use of a standard format makes it harder for basic ads to distinguish themselves from their competition because the ad format commands less attention.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: Advertising, Media Platforms, Standards, Standards-Setting, Internet
JEL Classification: L86, M37
Date posted: January 23, 2011 ; Last revised: June 22, 2014
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